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On the 7th of December, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council of the Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on “Innovative approaches for chronic diseases in public health and healthcare systems”. The conclusions – which are policy statements that are non-binding but which enable and legitimize common measures to be taken by one or more or all 27 EU Members States – followed a Ministerial level conference held in Brussels on the 20th of October. Chronic diseases are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world - representing 60% of all deaths worldwide - and are likely to increase in the next decade due to the ageing of the European population. The EU Member States and the European Commissionare recommendedto work together to promote healthier choices for citizens, reduce inequalities in care, ensure integrated patient-centred care, and stimulate research into prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic disease. They are alsorecommended to exchange good practices in the area of chronic disease policy, and to cooperate with relevant stakeholders, especially patients’ organisations. The Commission was invited to initiate a reflection process aiming to identify options to optimize the response to chronic diseases in Member States, and to summarize this in a ‘reflection paper’ to be published in 2012. It should also include good practices regarding ways to enable patients with chronic diseases to maximize their autonomy and quality of life. According to the Council, chronic diseases and the findings of the reflection paper should be integrated by the Commission as a priority in current and future European research and action programmes in the implementation of the EU 2020 initiative, which we wrote about in our April 2010 eZine. EFA welcomes the increasing collaboration at EU level on care, prevention and focus on patients, and continues to be a strong voice for people with allergy, asthma and COPD through our projects and policy work.